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FirstNews - Spring 2013

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SPRING 2013 VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 2 Downtown Walsenburg Plans Make-Over T he newly reorganized Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization Committee (WDRC) is doing just that: revitalizing. The new board is comprised of very driven and dedicated individuals that have accepted the daunting challenge of resurrecting downtown Walsenburg. They are striving to make Walsenburg a vibrant, exciting, visually appealing and thriving business district. Their goal is to make downtown Walsenburg the hub of the county, attracting visitors, new businesses, and residents while promoting the arts and preserving Walsenburg's historical culture. Gaye Davis, Karen Wilson, April Moran and Al Tucker WDRC requested assistance from Downtown Colorado, Inc., or DCI, and following an extensive assessment of the community, Walsenburg qualified to receive training and help in developing structure and processes to support local businesses and improve the vibrancy of the commercial district. This entire process resulted in creating a road map that will help guide community leaders in providing services and training that will foster a thriving business community. The DCI road map recommended the WDRC initially focus on two top priorities: the first was to develop Walsenburg's downtown area for locally-owned businesses to provide their own unique services and products by making it possible for them to purchase available downtown property, open their doors for business, and live on the premises if they desire. This would involve rezoning the area to a Live and Work Zone. An additional component of downtown development was incorporating the vacant lot on the corner of Sixth and Main in downtown Walsenburg for the purpose of developing a Pocket Park. WDRC is now working on this purchase. This park will create a more inviting atmosphere, encouraging tourists and locals to spend time (and money) downtown. With this improvement, downtown can become both a community gathering place and a draw for visitors and tourists. Secondly, DCI recommended non-competition zoning for Northlands Development to enhance downtown businesses rather than detract from their goods and services. Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization Committee, with the help of DCI, now has the resources to attract different groups, functions and conventions to Walsenburg. One such group just completed a visit in late April. The WDRC with the City of Walsenburg and the County hosted the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum. More visits by groups and dignitaries are on the horizon, all thanks to the tireless work of WDRC. This committee's tenacious efforts are breathing new life into an area that has long been ignored. Their energetic attitudes are just the medicine Walsenburg needed to help it succeed and prosper. Want to get involved? Take some time out and complete the Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization Committee's Pocket Park Survey. They are available at La Plaza Inn or April's Attic in Walsenburg. Better yet, volunteer your talent or time and help push, pull and paint Walsenburg into a brighter future. Walsenburg Downtown Revitalization Committee, Inc. (719) 989-8642

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